Oakland County Launches Business Forward Program to Help Entrepreneurs • Oakland County Times

Oakland County launches Business Forward program to support entrepreneurs

Oakland County launches Business Forward program to support entrepreneurs

(Oakland County, March 11, 2022)

SOUTHFIELD, MI — Oakland County has launched an innovative program that will help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive, County Executive Dave Coulter announced today at a press conference in Southfield. Business Forward will engage the county’s 36,000+ small businesses with expertise and resources in the communities where they are located.

“The Business Forward program has already begun working in communities throughout Oakland County to make it easier for entrepreneurs to run successful small businesses,” Coulter said. “They will bring their expertise and resources directly to the thousands of small businesses that call Oakland County home.”

The county will deploy nine Business Forward Advisors in communities across the county to provide all small businesses with the opportunity to thrive, with a focus on minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses. Consultants have a variety of expertise including child care, hospitality, marketing, manufacturing, retail and more. They will connect business owners to services they may not be aware of, such as B. the availability of government grants and training opportunities.

“I look forward to working personally with business owners in the community,” said Tracey Williams, Business Forward consultant in Southfield. “This allows us to have a far wider reach by helping more small businesses with information, resources and access to finance. Small businesses create jobs and are the heart of our local communities. It just makes good business sense to partner with more companies to help them scale.”

Business Forward will make it easier for business owners and entrepreneurs to access the county’s small business services. The goal is to support 4,000 companies annually – a 10x increase over previous years. In the past, business owners from across the county had to travel to Waterford to access Oakland County’s small business services.

Business Forward consultants deliver these services on the ground in partnership with community-based organizations such as downtown development agencies, chambers of commerce, business associations and local economic development professionals.

Rashida LaShawn, owner of The Glam Doctor, a Southfield-based makeup artist company and 15 contractors serving production companies, media, executives and bridal supplies, is excited to access Oakland County’s small business services in her community to be able to

“As an entrepreneur, the success of my business depends on my being available 24/7 to customers and contractors,” Williams said. “Having the ability to have a Business Forward consultant working with me on-site and on my schedule gives me the flexibility I need to grow my business.”

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities across the county. They stabilize neighborhoods and reflect the rich diversity and culture of the surrounding communities, thus offering opportunity to many people.

“Running a successful restaurant and being one of the original businesses that anchored Oak Park’s new Social District means being there before, during and after business hours,” said Alex Bishai, owner of Oak Park Social Gastropub. “Having access to Oakland County’s small business services right in my community will make a huge difference to our operations.”

There will be upcoming Business Forward Kick-Offs in different communities:

  • Pontiac Saturday, April 2 at the Pontiac Economic Summit
  • South Oakland, Tuesday, April 5, 4-6 p.m. at The Dog and Pony Show Brewery, 14661 W. Eleven Mile Rd., Ste. 200, Oak Park
  • Lathrup Village, Thursday, April 7, 4-6pm at Community House 27400 Southfield Rd.
  • Farmington/Farmington Hills, Tuesday, April 12, 4-6 p.m. at The Hawk, 29995 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills
  • Highland Township, Wednesday, April 13, 4-6 p.m. at The Steeple Hall, 205 W. Livingston Rd.
  • Southfield, Thursday, April 21, 4-6 p.m. at the Centrepolis Accelerator, 21315 Civic Center Dr., Ste. 100

To connect with a Business Forward consultant, call 248-858-0783 or email [email protected] To learn more about Business Forward, click www.BusinessForward.com.

About Ellen Lewandowski

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